The Munchkins

Life with identical twins

What do you do when it’s super cold out?

The meteorologists are predicting record cold weather this week, so everyone knew they were going to be trapped (eventually). Saturday was actually decent (I think we were all expecting the cold to hit sooner than it did), so everyone, and I mean everyone, ran their errands. We stocked up on groceries and gas and then headed home to hunker down.

It was an incredibly productive weekend. Incredibly. Possibly a little manic, but still, productive.

Saturday I made chai tea lattes. I don’t really know why I wanted a chai tea latte so badly, but with the cold weather, it sounded perfect and it was. It could have been slightly sweeter, or more concentrated, but it was the perfect warm drink for a cold afternoon.

And then I did laundry. All the laundry. Sheets, blankets, pillows, taggies, duvets, towels. Everything that could be washed, was washed this weekend.

Sunday morning I started off with pumpkin chocolate chip oat bars. These were a huge hit! So yummy and tasty. We ate half the pan already.

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We ate some lunch, then started a craft the girls got in their stockings for Christmas. Who remembers Bake it’s?

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In hindsight, this was a poor decision. While the girls did fine with them at first, it quickly became apparent that you needed to do this one by one with a tweezer, or you’d have colors everywhere. They started them, I finished them. Never again.

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There was a lull after these baked where the oven was off for a solid hour plus. I ran, the girls got to the Ice Castle in Dora Wii. Then I threw in some chicken breasts, which I baked, cut up, and froze for later use. I used to do this every week, but I had gotten out of the habit. I wanted to do tacos on Tuesday this week, but since we weren’t having chicken Sunday, I didn’t have leftover chicken to use. I realized it was silly to depend on reusing leftovers, so I baked up some to freeze.

Last but not least were the Monster Cookies. My mom made these for Bake Day and the girls have loved them, so I knew we needed more. There is no flour in the recipe, only a whole lotta peanut butter and oatmeal. Note to my mother – did you use butter in yours? Because ours look very different.

The final thing I crossed off my to do list was to hang our family picture in the dining room. I’ve had that thing framed and sitting on the floor for five months? When we were at Home Depot on Saturday I bought picture hanging wire and a bracket. The only wrinkle in this is that the bracket is visible above the picture frame. Like fully visible. But the family picture is up! And every time I see it I’m thankful Angie blurred out my wrinkles. (Picture of the family picture only, since it was too dark to take a picture of my hanging picture.)


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Acrylic Painted Ornaments

Source: via Erin on Pinterest


Here was our inspiration Pin. Beautiful right? I have no idea how she got them to look that way.

The post said to put the acrylic paint in drop by drop and then swirl and tap to get the streaked effect. I tried drop by drop and it got me nowhere. We finally realized we needed a little more paint which created a great marbel effect, but it still looked nothing like the original ornament.

My aunt and I did two test ornaments and then the girls jumped in. They skipped the drops and squirted the paint right in there. This craft was nice because the girls could do it by themselves, with minimal supervision.

I decided to try some stripes? Maybe that would get the effect? It worked, kind of. But then I swirled it and the colors came together anyway. (It’s the top right in the collage.)

We ended up with some really beautiful ornaments! I liked the swirling, the colors coming together, especially when you were going for one design and something completely different happened.

My recommendations:
* I bought mostly regular acrylic paints, but bought two Martha Stewart specialty acrylics, a pearlized green and a gold glitter. Skip the glitter, go with the pearlized. The glitter just didn’t work well.

* I think the richer colored paints worked better than the lighter colors.

* You need to use just enough paint to coat the inside of the ornament, but not so much you end up with a pool of paint in the bottom. We did these ornaments on Thursday, and when I pulled them out on Sunday to decorate the tree with, paint was running everywhere. Also, if there was a lot of paint on the inside, the pattern you saw on the outside continuously changed. The pink/brown striped ornament was gorgeous on Thursday! It’s still pretty, but looks completely different now.

* I used clear plastic ornaments instead of clear glass and it worked just fine. Much easier with kids (and grown ups).

* My aunt Lisa thought these would also work well as an Easter craft, since it’s hard to really get a good Christmas color scheme working with them. I agree.


Epsom Salt Votive Holders

Pinterest has really made finding family crafts so much easier! The internet was great, but there’s just so many crafty things on pinterest. When Mom said she was looking for a Thanksgiving craft, I knew exactly the one to suggest.

I’d seen these epsom salt candle holders more than a few times. When we searched for it, we found this idea, which was slightly different in that she colored the epsom salts.

Source: via Kathy on Pinterest



I said, if you’re going to color the salts, why not add in glitter? So that’s what we did.

To do this craft you’ll need glass candle holders. My mom found these at the walmarts, I would probably hit up the thrift or dollar store. You’ll also need mod podge, epsom salts, food coloring and glitter.

First step, add a few drops of food coloring to your salts and mix it up. You don’t need much. We mixed up red, blue, green, and yellow, and then left a bowl of plain white. I tried to do purple by mixing red and blue, but it just looked like dirt.

Then, put together your plate of salt + glitter. I recommending sticking with glitter the same color as your salt. That’s what turned out the best for us. Also, one of my cousins did stripes of salt. Very fancy!

Once you’re set up, you are ready to mod podge your candle holder. You want a thick coat, but not so much that it’s drippy. It’s important to get enough mod podge on the glass that your epsom salts will stick, because you can’t go back and add more later. We tried, didn’t work.

Once you’re mod podged, roll the candle holder in the salts. Press down a little so the salt sticks. It’s helpful to pack the salt on in any spots that are light. Once the sides are salted, get some mod podge on the top rim and salt that as well.

And voila! You have a snow covered, glittery candle holder!

This was a great craft even for my girls. They needed some help, but they loved picking out the colors and they are great at doing the mod podge. Caden did one that was yellow salt with gold glitter that turned out really beautiful. I used plain white epsom salt, but added in colored glitter and it was not as beautiful. Oh well, they all looked very pretty when lit!

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Craft Time

We went to Michael’s last weekend with the intention of getting some sort of craft that the girls could do as presents for Grammy for Mother’s Day. I will say this, they know exactly what people are looking for when they come in this time of year! There were three or four set ups as you walk into the store with everything you needed to complete the project. I vaguely contemplated painting clay pots, but I’ve done that before so instead we went with decorating wood picture frames. They each picked a frame and two paint colors, I added in some gems and stickers. It doesn’t get any easier than that.

The girls do art projects all day long at school so they were very into this.

They painted, and then we had to wait for everything to dry. I may have art directed a little, I just didn’t want the frames to end up brown you know? But, I let them put the gems wherever they wanted. They turned out really pretty!



First, a story. On the way home last night the girls requested pizza for dinner. I wasn’t really tied to what I had planned, so we detoured and hit the new Pizza Luce. Laney and I go to the Luce downtown, but we always just get the daily slice. I forgot how amazing their pizza is when it’s hot! We were all in heaven. The girls were excited to be out and behaved really well. Even our waitress commented on it. I was very proud of them and it made for such a fun evening. I was also proud of how they attacked and devoured their pizza. Sausage and salami was a hit, and I have two pieces left for lunch tomorrow!

All of the grandkids love my parent’s office. The desk is set up perfectly for coloring or arts and crafts. Plus, it’s a nice, cozy room and I think they like spending time in there. We had a lot to do on Saturday so we got the supplies out and let them go to town. Caden wanted to glue. I said yes. She was incredibly careful and would do small dots of glue on the pieces of paper I had ripped, and then carefully put them on her big piece of paper. She could have glued for hours with nary a mess. Delaney on the other hand, was messier. On the flip side, daycare reports that Delaney could color for hours, while Caden gets bored quickly. She also loves to draw, and spends time every night drawing on the magna doodle. Very interesting.


Crafts? ish


After playing in the rain, we came inside, Laney got new pants and we headed out to the screen porch to color. The nanny had picked up some markers earlier in the week, but the girls hadn’t tried them out yet. I figured a rainy day was the perfect day to do that. In hindsight, maybe that wasn’t the best decision.

Moments after taking this picture, Caden crawled onto the table. It’s what she does these days, crawls on top of things. She actually sat fairly still on the table so it worked out, but I was worried about her falling off the table and Laney falling off the chair, plus markers and crayons were flying everywhere. No one colored but me, but I think that’s how these things go at 15 months.

Here’s what I learned from Saturday. One activity per day. On Saturday, our library outing that morning should have been it. But we also did the rain plus the coloring plus I ran during their naptime so by 4:00pm I was Exhausted. I think of fun things to do and then want to do them, but I need to remember we don’t have to do everything *right* this minute. Some activities can wait!

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